Financial spotlight for Arts and culture sector with £1.57 billion support package

The government announces huge one-off package of help, although questions are raised over help to performers and the phased return to full opening of venues.

  Complete darkness may be avoided by the Royal Albert Hall by the announcement

The Government has announced what it calls "the biggest one-off investment in UK culture"as it unveiled plans of a £1.57 billion support package for theatres, galleries, museums and cultural venues.

It will be made up of £880 million in grants and £270 million in repayable loans. There will be funding of £100 for national cultural institutions and the English Heritage Trust. A further £120 million is allocated to cultural infrastructure and heritage construction projects in England.

Scotland will receive £97 million, Wales £59 million and Northern Ireland £33 million.


The allocation of the funding support would be made "alongside expert independent figures from the sector".

Further guidance on a 'phased return' of the performing arts in their venues is expected to be announced in the near future.

World leading

After the announcement was leaked by the Financial Times and others, the Culture Minister, Oliver Dowden tweeted; "Weeks in the making to make this world leading fund to help the arts weather the storm of Covid.

I said I wouldn't let the arts down. Culture and the arts matter, and this Govt back you."

The announcement has been broadly welcomed, although the Chancellor of Exchequer's own tweet in saying that it was introducing "a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions"was widely questioned.

France has reportedly supported its arts section to the tune of €7 billion, whilst others questioned why it had taken three months following high profile pressure from leading cultural personalities for it to have been undertaken.

Others have questioned whether the package is targeted at giving assistance to individuals and especially freelance performers, many of whom have been ineligible for financial help, whilst others have wondered if the money will seep through to all areas of the country — and not just the major London-centric institutions.

I said I wouldn't let the arts down. Culture and the arts matter, and this Govt back youCulture Minister, Oliver Dowden


There are currently over 650 National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) including Brass Bands England and the National Youth Brass Bands of Great Britain.

Sir Simon Rattle stated; "We hope it will be distributed as fast as possible... as so many institutions and individual artists have been staring into the abyss,"whilst, Arts Council chairman Sir Nicholas Serota told BBC News the funding was "a very good result".

He added: "Now it's up to the arts organisations and the Arts Council to make best use of this money and bring the arts back into communities across the county. This announcement gives us the tools to help build a recovery."


In recent weeks there have also been well publicised reports of the financial difficulties of major London venues and organisations such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House, whilst closures and redundancies have taken place around the country.

In response to the announcement Labour's shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said while she welcomed the "much-needed" package, it was "too little, too late" for many. She urged the government to act quickly to help organisations "currently teetering on the brink"

Julia Fawcett, chief executive of the Lowry in Salford, said: "The announcement of £1.57bn of emergency investment in the UK's culture sector is welcome news, but we are fast running out of time.

This lifeline will come too late for some organisations who have already been forced to close their doors for good or made valued employees redundant."

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    

Chappell gains place in Cornish National Music Archive

August 4 • The brass band career of conductor Albert Chappell has found a place in the newly created Cornish National Music Archive.


A minor bit of high profile national radio coverage

August 4 • A quintet performance of Bach's famous 'Toccata' gets a bit of air time on Classic FM...


Music can play pivotal role for school children in post Coronavirus future

August 4 • An article in the Times Education Supplement argues that music can make a huge positive impact on well being for children as they prepare to return to school.


First chords of return in Wales?

August 4 • Members of Brecon Concert Band were able to enjoy an open air rehearsal this week — but there is still no sign of concert halls reopening in Wales.

Black Dyke Band - Swiss Nationals Gala Concert

Saturday 19 September • KKL, Europaplatz 1, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland 6000

The Marple Band - Marple Band Autumn Concert

Friday 16 October • Marple Methodist Church, Church Lane, Marple SK6 6AY

The Marple Band - Marple and Hawk Green Bands Concert Compstall

Saturday 7 November • St Pauls Church, Compstall Rd, Compstall, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 5HU

Contest: Swiss National Championships

Saturday 28 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820

Contest: Swiss National Championships

Sunday 29 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820

Crewe Brass

July 26 • Due to relocation Crewe Brass require a top quality Bass player to complete our line up, Position negotiable withe the MD, Matt Pithers on 07921 062732. Enquires for other positions are welcome to apply in strict confidence.. .

The Marple Band

July 20 • The Marple Band were promoted to 1st Section at the start of 2020. We are looking for Basses Eb and Bb, front row cornets and second row cornet to join our friendly band. If fancy a change of scene and think you have what it takes to play, see below.

Foss Dyke Band

July 19 • Foss Dyke would like to invite applications for MD. You will have a very pro active committee to support you, and the band currently has only 1 empty chair, with well attended rehearsals. The bandroom has just had a complete refit, Covid ready.

Phillip Littlemore

GGSM, AoBBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator, Arranger, Teacher and Publisher


 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd